John M. Connor received the Alfred E. Kahn Award for Antitrust Achievement at the American Antitrust Institute's Annual Conference on June 19. Pictured above (left to right) are Prof. Robert Lande, Univ. of Baltimore Law School; John M. Connor; Albert Foer, President of the Am. Antitrust Institute.
John "Cartel Hunter" Connor is the world's leading cartel researcher. Since 1997, the focus of his scholarship has been the empirical analysis of international cartels and the enforcement of anti-collusion laws around the world. He is the author or co-author of 19 books and monographs and more than 200 scholarly articles in the fields of economics, business, and/or law. His book, Global Price Fixing, is the most comprehensive and most important study of cartels and cartel overcharges. It received the Jerry S. Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship in 2000. An article he co-authored, "Cartels as Rational Business Strategy: Crime Pays," was the co-winner of the Cohen Award in 2013. Dr. Connor's publications have, on five occasions, received the prestigious Quality of Communication Award from the American Association of Agricultural Economics. In 2009, his lifetime achievements in applied economics were recognized when he was given the highest honor of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the title of Fellow.
Now Emeritus Professor, Connor taught industrial-organization economics and other courses at Purdue University from 1983 to 2011. From 1979 to 1983 he was head of Food Manufacturing Research in the Economic Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. His research in the agricultural sector led to a specialization in competition issues in this area, where he soon became the leading empirical researcher.
After studying agricultural cartels intensively, Dr. Connor expanded his focus to encompass the empirical study of all cartels. As he undertook his studies he prudently and meticulously searched for and analyzed hundreds of scholarly publications for key information on more than 1000 international cartels, including thousands of overcharge estimates. These databases have been shared with students and colleagues around the world. Thanks to his brilliant foresight, hard work, and path-breaking insights, the legal and economic analysis of collusion can for the first time be tied to real world conditions. Sanctions against collusion now can be based upon not just economic theory, but also the critical underlying empirical parameters. By skillfully focusing his efforts on the key empirical issues, the "King of Cartels" has, more than anyone else, successfully helped resolve many of the cartel-related issues that are of the highest importance to antitrust policymakers. Dr. Connor challenged the conventional wisdom in a large number of areas and caused the antitrust community to re-evaluate many of its beliefs.
Dr. Connor has long been one of the most active and helpful Advisory Board Members and Senior Fellows of the American Antitrust Institute. He has worked on a large number of AAI projects, has spoken at many AAI events, and had a leading role in the AAI film "Fair Fight In The Marketplace."
Dr. Connor is the 15th recipient of the AAI's annual award honoring a lifetime of achievement in the antitrust, trade regulation and competition fields. Past honorees are Joel Klein, Robert Pitofsky, F.M. Scherer, Alfred E. Kahn, Lloyd Constantine, Thomas B. Leary, Senators Herb Kohl and Mike DeWine, Maxwell Blecher, John Shenefield, Eleanor M. Fox, Steven Salop, Mario Monti, Roger G. Noll, and Kathleen Foote.
The AAI named its annual achievement award in honor of Alfred Kahn, the Cornell University economist who was known as the the "godfather of deregulation" for his role as the chief architect and promoter of deregulating the nation's airlines, despite opposition from industry executives and unions alike. Kahn joined the AAI Advisory Board Member in 1998 and received the AAI's Antitrust Achievement Award in 2004. Kahn died in December 2010 at the age of 93.
Held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., the annual conference is attended by leaders of the antitrust community including academics, lawyers, economists and agency and Capitol Hill staff.